Tuesday, January 5, 2016


 For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”

But you were not willing..."
Isaiah 30: 15
Repentance: noun

1. deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like


I've been taught that repentance, in biblical texts, means to turn 180°. It probably does. But while I am quick to turn, always eager to get back on track when I've gone astray, I don't spend too much time in deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition over my sin. Evangelicals don't encourage such things. We're more focused on "moving forward." In fact, I think we (okay, I) might even equate compunction and contrition with "wallowing in sin." 

"You're forgiven, already! Get over it."

For my class in Missional Leadership, I read a book called A Failure of Nerve. It was a great book, where the author analyzed  the root causes of leadership failures. One such cause is the need/desire/impulse to rush to a solution. Because I don't like the messiness of problems, I will often opt for a quick, albeit less-desireable, outcome rather than wait for the highest and best.  

Is my rush to forgiveness and redemption actually limiting the quality of both? Might I experience a deeper forgiveness and a more complete redemption if I allowed repentance to do its work?

I like the idea of Selah in comfortable a cozy places. But will I learn to pause for reflection in the uncomfortable, even painful places? Can this, too, be a part of Selah?  

Lord, teach me to grieve my sin. Help me to feel the weight of it. Let me see your sorrow over it. I don't want to lightly gloss over misspoken words, wayward thoughts, selfish behaviors, and nasty attitudes. I don't want to overlook my pride. I don't want to cherish my self-righteousness. I don't want to ignore my carelessness. I want to discover true repentance, that I might more fully know your grace. Make me willing. 

Note: I plan to meditate on this verse all year. This is my  Selah passage--so there will be more to come from Isaiah 30:15. Much, much more.

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